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One never stops reading, though books come to an end, just as one never stops living, even though death is a certainty.

Roberto Bolaño


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Saturday, October 6th, 2007

Codex Seraphinianus download

Bill just told me about the Grey Lodge Occult Review which looks like a fun site. The first thing I noticed is, their current issue has a downloadable edition of Luigi Serafini's Codex Seraphinianus. Cool!

Update: You can also read the book at scribd.

posted morning of October 6th, 2007: Respond
➳ More posts about Readings

Friday, February first, 2008

Codex Seraphinianus

I heard about this book just a little while ago from a friend who was trying to figure out how much a copy costs now; pretty expensive it turns out. But, turns out also to be available on the internets for free. Just looking through it now for the first time -- it is entrancing to look at the letters and understand them as meaningful. Also some hilarious art like the rocket circumambulation.

In a funny way it seems like reading that Dr. Seuss "On Beyond Zebra" book of invented characters, but taken to a whole 'nother level in terms of internal consistency and rigorous meaninglessness. -- Maybe comparable to what a baby experiences looking at a book, maybe a baby at the cusp of realizing that the book holds the story which is being read to him but not yet having the key to understanding it.

Apparently the egg-trees are crawling out of their holes in order to split in half that they might bear the fœtal tree developing inside them. I'm not sure why some of the little ones are splitting; maybe they are a separate species or variety.

posted evening of February first, 2008: Respond
➳ More posts about Pretty Pictures

Monday, February 4th, 2008

Pulcinellopædia

Further to the Codex Seraphinianus: Luigi Serafini also wrote a second book, the Pulcinellopedia (Piccola), concerning the Punch doll of "Punch and Judy". I have only been able to find a few scattered images, mostly on this page (the same blogger also has a beautiful Codex page) -- sure looks intriguing.

And, another page from the Codex -- a rainy day:

posted evening of February 4th, 2008: Respond

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Precursors of the Codex Seraphinianus

So I happened in today's XKCD upon the knowledge that Codex Seraphinianus is not the only or the first such book, written in an invented language and alphabet -- I mean I suspected vaguely that there were other similar books, but the cartoon gave me the name of one, and the Wikipædia article on that one gave me some more names. Best thing: at the bottom of that article is a link to a complete download of the Voynich manuscript, scanned in at pretty high quality.

Update: Some thoughts from ciphermysteries.com about decoding the Voynich manuscript.

posted evening of June 5th, 2009: Respond
➳ More posts about Logograms

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Who remembers Roberto Altmann nowadays?

(and after all, text is a picture and the reverse as well)*
Certainly not me -- this story is the first time I had ever heard of him (after a brief bit of confusion where I thought Bolaño was talking about Robert Altman) -- I'm grateful to Bolaño for mentioning him, and getting me to look up some lovely images. Altmann's work (or the bit of it that I'm looking at right now) is strongly reminiscent of the Codex Seraphinianus (in a way that much other logogram art is not, I think the addition of comix to the mix really makes it into something very different) -- and of course in the same vein, of Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius.Domingos Isabelinho of The Crib Sheet provides scans of Altmann's story Zr + 4HCl → ZrCl4 + 2H2/ U + 3F2 → UF6 (and see also his previous post for more context) -- just beautiful, tantalizing stuff. I feel drawn to imagine a storyline for these beautiful, impossible creatures and their heiroglyphic tongue and their alphabetic decorations.

* (Note: I'm pretty sure the translation I quote at the top of this post is not quite right, that Bolaño is just saying in the case of this magazine, text is the picture and vice versa, not making a more general statement -- but I've sort of fallen in love with this formulation.)

posted evening of April 24th, 2010: 2 responses
➳ More posts about Comix

Friday, June 15th, 2012

cranial apples

Michael of The New Post-Literate posts a fantastic new piece of work from SAzzTnt, which appears to be composing a soundtrack record for the forthcoming Seraphinianus...

(be sure to click thru)

posted evening of June 15th, 2012: 1 response
➳ More posts about Language

Thursday, October third, 2013

Meanwhile somewhere else

posted evening of October third, 2013: Respond

Kingdom of Love

The visuals in this cartoon are at moments strikingly reminiscent of the Codex Seraphinianus. Let's listen to the Soft Boys.



(I'm a bit blown away also by the quality of the mashup, which is Unavión Ounpájaro' s editing of "Fantastic Planet" by Deloux.)

posted evening of October third, 2013: Respond
➳ More posts about Music

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